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Standards Alliance Coordinates Meeting on Sustainable Agriculture in Namibia


On October 4-6, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), through the Standards Alliance, sponsored the participation of Michael Arny, president, Leonardo Academy Inc., as a speaker at the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) Conformity Assessment Committee (ARSO CACO) meeting in Swakopmund, Namibia. Namibian Standards Institute (NSi) hosted the annual meeting, during which Mr. Arny presented on the components and usage of the American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture (ANSI/LEO-4000) and elaborated on U.S. sustainable agriculture standards.

Leonardo Academy's presentation further builds on the relationship between ARSO and ANSI, as the meeting was an opportunity to work with a variety of national standards bodies from across Africa. The meeting included 24 participants representing standards bodies from 17 Sub-Saharan African countries: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.

ARSO is an intergovernmental body comprised of standards bodies from 34 African countries, with the principal mandate to harmonize African standards and conformity assessment procedures to increase trade and promote African growth.

In February 2014, ANSI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ARSO. Both sides agreed to cooperate on areas of mutual priority and support the Standards Alliance engagement within Africa. Through implementation of the MoU, ANSI expects to expand the reach of Standards Alliance activities and increase the impact throughout ARSO member countries.

During the past year, ANSI and member organizations participated in the 2016 ARSO 22nd General Assembly, hosted by the government of Tanzania through the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), in Arusha, Tanzania.

About the Standards Alliance

The Standards Alliance was announced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in November 2012 as a new funding facility designed to provide capacity-building assistance to developing countries, specifically related to implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement.

The main objectives of the program include:

  • Increased understanding of WTO TBT principles; implementation of the Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards;

  • Improved transparency in the development and/or modification of technical regulations; and

  • More robust and transparent engagement with the private sector in standards development and use.

For more information on the Standards Alliance and for information on how to get involved in Standards Alliance activities with ARSO, visit the Standards Alliance web page.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]